Red Faction

Red Faction Armageddon screenshot

Series Metacritic Average: 82

What is it?

Currently: a linear, Mars-set third-person action snoozefest. Formerly: an interesting sandbox game with an amazing line in destruction. The next instalment of the franchise is going to be crucial in establishing just which way the series will go. Let's just hope that it's more like Guerilla than Armageddon.

What could it become?

Oh Red Faction. You went and changed on us, and it didn't work out. You went from Guerilla, an open-world destruction fest – which featured some of the most satisfying instances of scenery demolition found in any game – to Armageddon, a corridor-based shooting gallery in just one step. The series seriously lost its way when it started to focus more on the shooting and less on the explosions, but all is not lost. We'd love to see the series move back to the open-world, and the next-generation of consoles should give Nordic Games considerable grunt to make things go bang. Essentially, there's a gap in the market for an open-world, sandbox game with full destruction. Levelling a whole city with a hammer? 10/10.

Darksiders

Darksiders II screenshot

Series Metacritic Average: 83

What is it?

The game that finally killed THQ, and a fun-if-uninspired dungeon crawler. There's no denying that Darksiders is popular, it's just not popular enough to carry the weight of an entire company on its back.

What could it become?

Look no further than former dev Vigil Games' own plans for the series: four player co-op. The first two games missed a trick by not enabling more than one player to hack and slash their way through legions of fantasy-themed enemies. Surely Darksiders III would enable all four of the horsemen to team up?

Beyond the number of players, Nordic Games would have a lot of lore to work with: the second game ends on a cliffhanger, and there's plenty of people that bought the last game that would like to see just where the story goes next. Darksiders II improved on the original in many ways, not least in that it didn't take six days to get going. If there's the same level of improvement between II and III – maybe tone down the boring and distressingly frequent ball-rolling puzzles, eh – then this could be awesome. Unless it's rubbish, of course.

Destroy All Humans!

Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon screenshot

Series Metacritic Average: 64

What is it?

Before Saints Row let players send civvies into a trance with a Dubstep Gun and take tigers for a joyride in an open-top pimp wagon, Destroy All Humans was THQ's go-to goofy game. An extra-terrestrial Grand Theft Auto-alike that switched transit vans for UFOs and AK-47s for anal probes, Destroy All Humans! was one of the last great games from Mercenaries creators Pandemic, before the series was destroyed by THQ's internal teams. Sure, the UFO handling (if you can even call it that?) was a bit fiddly, but when you're laughing your head off from tractor-beaming farm animals and inserting instruments into the anal cavities of FBI agents, who cares?

What could it become?

Following some of its more recent outings, Destroy All Humans! would have been better off blasted into orbit. But when handled correctly, DAH's mix of zany weapons, dark humour and hilarious gameplay could help contribute to a literal out-of-this-world experience. Imagine snatching an unsuspecting farmer from his cornfield, whizzing off into orbit, blowing up a space station and heading back to Roswell in time for a Big Willy burger. That's next-gen.

Stuntman

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Series Metacritic Average: 74

What is it?

One of the criticisms we hear most often about racing games is that once you've played one, you've played them all. But in the case of Stuntman, that wouldn't be true. A racing game with a difference, Stuntman pit players in the role of a Hollywood stunt driver, tasking them with zipping through explosive movie sets and pulling off high-speed tricks to win over the director. It was the ultimate James Bond racer, in other words, but the precision-dependent gameplay resulted in the game becoming a tedious exercise in trial and error.

What could it become?

It's difficult to sell a James Bond experience without being able to call it James Bond Experience: The Game, as THQ found out the hard way. So why not do just that? With the industry heading into a digital future, creating a platform that lets players download actual stunt sequences from real-world movies would be an excellent way to promote the film and deliver an innovative racer.

Full Spectrum Warrior

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Series Metacritic Average: 75

What is it?

Take one glimpse at Full Spectrum Warrior and you'd be forgiven for writing it off as a generic, modern warfare third-person shooter. But consider this: you don't actually get to shoot anything. Well, not directly, at least. Full Spectrum Warrior was a game built around tactical play, where positioning your two squads and flanking enemy combatants was vital to your success in the field. Struggling to get your head around it? Think XCOM: Enemy Unknown with a tighter, third-person camera and set in a modern day, Middle-Eastern combat situation. And yes, it was every bit as amazing as that sounds.

What could it become?

The success of XCOM proved that an audience still exists for big-budget real-time tactics titles, and Full Spectrum Warrior's modern warfare setting provides a desirable theme should Nordic decide to attempt to crack the market further. Given the quality of the original, it wouldn't need to change too much, either. Give us an improved camera, some dramatic tank-busting set-pieces and rock-hard gameplay, and we're sold.

Supreme Commander

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Series Metacritic Average: 81

What is it?

If you haven't heard of Chris Taylor, you probably don't like real-time strategy games. Responsible for the likes of Total Annihilation and Dungeon Siege, Taylor and his studio Gas Powered Games can also lay claim to Supreme Commander, a spiritual sequel to the aforementioned Total Annihilation. Focusing on taking an 'Armored Command Unit' (a giant mech) and building a base, gathering resources and stomping the sense out of fools, it was extremely well-regarded on its release and for good reason. A sequel, the excellently named Supreme Commander 2, followed the same remit although it was, by and large, quite watered down.

What could it become?

Considering Chris Taylor and Gas Powered Games still exist – although recently there was a lot of hooha concerning their future and Kickstarter project 'Wildman' – there's no reason why Supreme Commander can't return in some form. The wider community would rather the series returned to its more complex and intricate roots, and considering the Xbox 360 version of the sequel was pure garbage, dedicating efforts to a PC-only title would make sense. To be honest, though, we imagine Nordic Games, for the time being at least, are just interested in selling the original offerings.

Homeworld

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Series Metacritic Average: 88

What is it?

Another RTS that is held in very high regard, the first Homeworld marked the debut of Relic Entertainment – now of Company Of Heroes fame – hurling the studio into the limelight in the process. Relying heavily on its different classes, Homeworld stood out in 1999 thanks to its visuals, 3D interface and story. It tried, and succeeded, in making real-time strategy titles more than the sum of their parts. This same ideology carried on with the sequel four years later, ensuring the series is now so revered by fans that if anyone does attempt a third and fails, that company will probably be wiped off the face of the Earth.

What could it become?

Relic is clearly still fond of the license, so it was rather surprising that Gearbox flew in from nowhere and snatched it up for themselves. Having ruined Aliens and Duke Nukem – although the latter wasn't really Randy Pitchford and friends' fault – you better believe there's a contingent ready to storm Texas should the studio release a follow-up and screw it up. For our money, we imagine there must be plans to develop a brand new iteration as buying such a loved IP and then throwing it into the corner is akin to eating a pizza in front of a starving person... while laughing. It's just mean.

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Game Stats

Release Date: 21/08/2012
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Action
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 643
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